Hard to believe, but I’ve been in England (and more specifically, London) for a week! Time really has flown by. While I enjoyed my experiences in Asia immensely, I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t been overjoyed to head to the airport to make the journey here. And what a long journey that was:
- A slightly-dodgy commuter flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, further aided by my cold
- An overnight (six hour) layover in Bangkok that involved no sleep thanks to hard benches and Thai New Year celebrations (song-and-dance combos at 2 a.m. – seriously – and water fights IN THE AIRPORT)
- A four-hour flight to New Delhi at 6 a.m., still with no sleep thanks to the raging heartburn I picked up from my curry breakfast, and the woman next to me poking me awake every few minutes to chat
- A three-hour layover in New Delhi, most of which was spent essentially in a police line-up to identify my bag on the tarmac (one good reason to buy a bag that’s not black!). I spent the remainder of the time at McDonald’s due to it being the only restaurant in the airport that accepted US money (something to look into ahead of time – whether or not the airport you have a long stopover at has a weird rule prohibiting foreigners from changing money to local currency. I did not do this in advance.). P.S. McDonald’s in India has pretty good vegetarian offerings! And Coke (the soft drink, not otherwise) really was as sweet as I’d heard.
- A nine-hour flight to London, where I realized I had packed my sedatives in my checked bag (blast) and my seatmate was a crafty old lady who was after my window seat
At any rate, it was a very long 24 hours. But after whipping through Heathrow customs and picking up my dirt-streaked backpack, I was reunited with my waiting parents who had come to pick me up (so yes, despite a fear of flying, my mum made it on the plane with the help of a few sedatives).
London is, without a question, the first city I’ve visited where I’ve actually thought, “I could live here in a second”. I love everything about it – the weather (granted, it’s been freakishly nice weather here – in the mid-20s each day with nothing but sunshine), the people, the sights, the delicious sandwiches and lunch offerings…I could go on. And will. In the next post!